Archives for June 2016

monday musings |6.27.16|

Happy Monday! Anyone else have a short week ahead? I’m jetting off to Austin for a long-weekend full of friends, Tex Mex + lake time and K’s hanging around Atlanta enjoying all the red white + blue activities around town. But before we check out, we’ve got our favorite links of the day to wind down this Monday.

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Handy Chart to Tell Which Shape of Sunglasses is Right for Your Face

Happy #NationalSunglassesDay! A guide to tell which sunglasses look best on you – where has this been all our life? This is something I’ve always struggled with. While trends can be fun (hello colored mirrored lenses), investing in a pair of sunnies that look fab is always in season.

Why Blogging is Good for Self-Development

Creative outlet? Check. Reason to go to yet another brunch? Check. Self-empowerment? Check. There are many reasons we started this blog, but this article really shines a light on the major #girlboss benefits.

14 Tips for Traveling on a Budget

For those of you who are loyal H+R readers (we <3 you!), it should come as no surprise that travel is always top of mind for us – and we’re always looking to get a good deal out of our tips. (ICYMI: Kristen recapped her AH-mazing Hong Kong adventure here). These tips are great and we’re all about #4 and #14.

Edible Obsession: Palm Tree Donuts

Whether you’re beach-side or pool-side this weekend, these fun treats are sure to be a crowd pleaser and are totally insta-worthy.

What are your plans for the long weekend ahead?

xo, H+R

do, eat, see: Hong Kong

I recently returned from a trip to Hong Kong – and what a trip it was. Hong Kong was an amazing city to spend time in, but since it was somewhere none of us had ever been before, there was a lot of guessing and researching before deciding what we wanted to do…which is where I come in for you! I wanted to make sure I remembered everything to share with you guys and hopefully help some of you out on your future travels.

We stayed in the Central district for four days, doing our fair share of exploring…and lots of dim-sum eating. The city itself reminded me a lot of Singapore – very urban and modern with lots of things to do and different cultures blended together – but had a lot of differences as well. We did and saw a lot over our four days, so I’ll break it down in our typical fashion into my favorite things to do, eat and see:

– do – 

Take the tram up to Victoria Peak

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This was the simplest thing we did but also maybe my favorite. The Peak Tram is the world’s steepest funicular railway (scary!) and takes you up to the top of Victoria Peak, where you can see arguably the best views of the Hong Kong skyline. The view is just beyond – I couldn’t have imagined that many buildings all in one place. We heard (and read) the queue for the tram could get insane (if Asia can do one thing well, it’s queuing) so we went first thing when it opened – I would HIGHLY suggest this. Get there early and you won’t have to wait. There are some food and merch shops at the top of mountain – even a Starbucks – so you can get your breakfast fix once they open.

Shop at Times Square

I thought we were used to big malls in Singapore, but whoa – Hong Kong’s very own Times Square was huge! The retail stores are spread over 9 floors and you can find everything from Zara to Louis Vuitton and even a Laduree when you’re trying to get your macaron on. It was a cool place to explore and we even found one of our favorite restaurants there (I’m getting to the food)!

Ride a speedboat to Macau

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Macau, considered “the Vegas of Asia,” is another special separate region of China that’s about an hour boat ride away from Hong Kong. The boats depart from Hong Kong harbor every 15 minutes throughout the day, so choose when you want to go and head to the Sheung Wan MTR station to get to the ferry terminal. It was super easy to get to Macau and it was honestly super bizarre to see it all – there is a Venetian that looks almost identical to the one in Vegas, along with a Wynn and even a replica Eiffel Tower! We moseyed around the Venetian for a while and even found our favorite snack, Lord Stow’s Bakery egg tarts – omg, get them – while wandering around. We just went for the night and it was a perfect amount of time to get to explore a little!

– eat –

Dim sum 

Dim sum is a popular type of Chinese-style cuisine traditionally prepared as smaller, bite-sized food served in steamer baskets or on plates. The food can range from things like steamed dumplings (my personal fave are xiao long bao), noodles, vegetables, rice dishes and more. It differs from place to place, but that’s pretty much the standard from where I’ve been. In Hong Kong, we ate at two places for dim sum: Tim Ho Wan and Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao.

Tim Ho Wan, famed as the world’s cheapest Michelin star restaurant, originated in Hong Kong and now has a few locations around the city. When I looked up online what to eat, the pork buns came up again and again (and again). We ordered these, a beef dish, some dumplings and vegetables. To be honest, I enjoyed the food, but it wasn’t the best I’ve had in HK/Asia – if there’s no wait, I’d definitely recommend checking it out, but I don’t think it’s worth the famed multi-hour queues. 🙂 The other restaurant we got dim sum style food at, Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao in Times Square Mall, was, in my opinion, much better. Get two orders of the xiao long bao, the homemade noodles (omg) and whatever else strikes your fancy and you’ll be good. This was my favorite meal in HK and I’d highly recommend it.

Burgers at Beef & Liberty

Okay, so when you think Hong Kong, your first thought probably isn’t about burgers. Me either – until Beef & Liberty came along. One of my mom’s friends recommended it to us and it was close to our hotel, so we decided to check it out. Upon arrival, you immediately know this is going to be a cool place. The inside has a very modern vibe and the servers were all super nice. There are tons of craft beers to try and even a skillet cookie (looking at you, sis). I’d suggest the black pepper burger – it was so different but SO good. We ate at the central location, but there’s also a pop up in the PMQ. They also have sweet potato fries, which is always my fry of choice, which were great. I’d highly recommend this place if you’re searching for a taste of home in HK.

– see –

Lantau Island

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Lantau was definitely one of my favorite things we saw while we were in Hong Kong. To get there, we took the MTR to the Tung Chung station and took the Ngong Ping 360 Cable car – an experience in itself! Pro tip: buy tickets for the “crystal” (glass bottom) cable car – it’s a little more expensive but the queue was non-existent compared to the hours-long one for the regular car. Worth the money for sure.

Once you get off the cable car (it’s about a 30 minute ride), you’ll be in Ngong Ping village, a cute-but-touristy walkway with shops and restaurants set up for visitors to the real attractions: Po Lin monastery and the Big Buddha. They’re both hidden away in lush mountains (such a contrast to central Hong Kong) and are great to see. It’s amazing to think about monks practicing in such a remote area – and the Big Buddha sure lives up to his name! Be ready to climb lots of steps to the top for a great view of the surrounding hills and the monastery.

Tai O

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Tai O was a smaller destination on our journey, a quaint fishing town on Lantau Island. After finishing up at the Big Buddha, we decided to take a local bus here to see what life would have been like before the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong arrived. They’re famous for their dried fish markets (see: the worst thing I ever smelled), but even if you aren’t planning on buying a dried pufferfish, it’s a nice place to spend an hour or so.

Take one of the small fishing boats out to try and catch a glimpse of the famed “pink dolphins” – the Chinese White Dolphin, as they’re scientifically called, are known to swim around the island and make appearances every once in a while. We didn’t have the good luck of seeing any, but if you plan your times right and do a bit of research, you should have a good shot!

Rooftop bars

Rooftop bars are popular in most big cities nowadays, but with Hong Kong’s impressive skyline, they’re a sight not to be missed. Ozone, the bar at the top of the Ritz Carlton, takes the title of the highest bar in the world. We wanted to stay more in the Central district, so we decided to try out Sevva, a restaurant and bar with a great view of the surrounding area. Their drink list was absurd – pages upon pages of every sort of cocktail you could imagine. We enjoyed taking in the sights from a great couch and had more than enough room to move around – a luxury in Asia! There was no cover, either, which is helpful to know if you’re trying to save a little $$.

Nan Lian Garden

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I couldn’t conclude my post about Hong Kong without mentioning the Nan Lian garden. One of our last stops in the city, the garden is a great place to relax, walk around and take in beautiful scenery in the middle of a hectic metropolis. Entry is free, it’s easy to get to on the MTR and you can even get a great meal at the restaurant or cafe inside = win.

While there’s countless things to do, eat and see while visiting Hong Kong, those were my favorites from this trip – I hope they serve you all well and definitely would suggest a visit if you’re in the area…or even if you’re not. What else should I add to my list for next time?

xx, H+R

monday musings |6.20.16|

Monday…where’d you come from? Wasn’t it just Friday? Today’s post brought to you by lots of tea, coffee and a little delirium after staying up to watch Game 7 of the NBA Finals last night. 🙂

I’ve been getting back into the swing of real life after an extended Asian vacation and a much quicker one to Florida this past week. It was nice to disconnect a bit, but I’m ready for the official #FirstDayofSummer (yay!) and lots of pool time reading my favorite sites:

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9 Habits That Will Make You Smarter

2016 seems to be the year of working on yourself, something we’re both very keen on. Putting in the effort to learn new things and stretch yourself each day can do more for your psyche than any dress you’ll buy or restaurant you try. My fave? #9 – set aside time to do nothing at all. Can we all set a summer resolution to do this more?

Chickpea Shawarma Dip

Status: currently searching for something to make to bring to our girls pool happy hour this Wednesday. Answer? This dip. Anything that takes 30 minutes and involves lots of chickpeas is fine by me. Definitely going to add some chili garlic sauce to my version!

The One Workout Playlist You Need This Month

Summer is now officially here (or will be in a few hours) and the hot weather here in Atlanta makes it even harder to push yourself to get to the gym. E is a big fan of ClassPass in LA, while I ride here at Flywheel’s midtown location – we’re both on unlimited monthly plans, which means we only get out of it as much as we’re willing to put in! Music is one of the best ways for me to get going before those early morning rides – I’ll definitely be cranking this up in the car on the way to ride this week.

10 Furnished Tents to Stay In Around the World

Um, glamping in Bali, anyone? Yep. Now that I need to start planning daydreaming about my next vacation, I can’t resist clicking any link that sends me to an awesome list of places to go. These tents seems like the perfect mix of low-key and luxe travel…sign us up!

IKEA Hacks That Will Totally Revamp Your Kitchen

After moving into our apartment with our shiny new kitchen, I thought this would be the time when I’d really “adult” up our space. Fast forward a few months and I’m quickly realizing that all that trendy accessorizing comes at a (big) price! These hacks from Brit + Co. on how to take IKEA items and make them useful in new ways is absolutely perfect – just the right amount of DIY. Make sure you check out #7!

That’s all until later this week, when I’ll be sharing my favorite tips on what to do, eat and see in Hong Kong. Talk soon!

xx, H+R

monday musings |6.6.16|

It’s June, what? Anyone else feel like 2016 has been the fastest year on record? As K settles back in from her dream-vacay in Asia (more later), we’re welcoming summer with open arms and sharing some of favorite things for the week ahead.

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How to Balance Your Day Job and Your Passion Project 

Anyone with a blog or side hustle can relate to the feeling of needing more hours in the day. With our hectic careers in PR, our days (and nights) can be full and our blog is the first to become neglected. Read on to see how to do it all.

Color Schemes for Every Room

While neither of us are homeowners yet, many hours have been spent dreaming (and ‘pinning’) what our future homes will look like. Shutterfly makes it easy to visualize what the rooms in your house will look like with different color schemes. Simply pick a room, a color and they provide options from ‘Modern’ to ‘Rustic.’ Serious #DesignInspo.

10 Reasons Why You Should Travel More This Year

We think it’s safe to say everyone has travel on their summer to-do list, but if you need more motivation here are 10 more reasons to just GO. Any recommendations for weekend getaways from Atlanta and LA? Hello, summer hours.

Strawberry Shortcake Grilled Doughnuts

‘Tis the season for firing up the grill for just about every meal. The combination of one of our favorite desserts with doughnuts and on the grill? Happening.

xx, H+R